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Ultimate Guide to Lining Up For the New iPad



The new iPad is officially sold out for March 16th release day delivery, lines are starting to form at Apple Stores. Yes, nearly a week ahead of the new iPad release date buyers are lining up for the new iPad.

If you don’t want to wait 2-3 weeks to get your new iPad , you too will need to head to your local store to pick up your new iPad on release day. The good news is, you don’t need to line up days in advance or even camp out overnight to get a new iPad on March 16th.

(Read: Should I Buy the New iPad)

Where to Lineup?

line for the new ipad

The new iPad will be available from several stores on March 16th, but Apple Stores will have the most stock of the new iPad. If you miss out on the first round of retail shipments, you will be in for a long wait or daily calls to your local stores, neither of which is fun.

Skip over the faux new iPad pre-orders at Radio Shack and Best Buy, and head to a real Apple Store for the best chance at getting the new iPad on March 16th and the best experience.

When to Arrive?

You don’t need to camp out all night to get the new iPad, but you should plan to arrive as early as you can and bring supplies for a wait of several hours. Apple has not announced what time they will begin to sell the new iPad in stores, so stay tuned for an update.

“at least 2 hours before the new iPad goes on sale”

When the iPad 2 launched, the iPad went on sale at 5PM local time, and I lined up around noon to secure a spot in the first 40 in line. By the time 5 PM rolled around, the line stretch around the block, but many users reported receiving an iPad after a long wait.

I would suggest arriving at least 2 hours before the new iPad goes on sale, even earlier if you plan to take the day off work or classes.

Apple is taking no genius appointments on Friday March 16th, which means that they could change it up again, and start selling the new iPad when they open at 10 AM on Friday. If that’s the case, you should grab an early breakfast and get in line by 7 or 8 AM.

What to Bring?

Apple will make sure you don’t get too uncomfortable while you wait in line, bringing out free water, coffee and even blankets if the weather is cold. That said, there are some things you should bring to make your wait in line for the new iPad easier. I recommend these from a lifetime of waiting in line for Black Friday events and for the iPad 2 last year.

camping chairFold up chair – A collapsible camping chair is incredibly important. This line isn’t going to move for hours, so open up your chair and sit down while you wait.

iPad, iPhone or computer – There’s no need to sit there with nothing to do for hours. Last year I worked from line, but if you can’t work remotely, I suggest that you pick up some apps and play some games.

WiFi or Hotspot – If you’re at the front of the line, you should be able to use the In Store WiFi, but if you are too far away, you’ll want a personal hotspot to get connected to the Internet. You can turn on a hotspot for just one month if you want to get online without changing your plan.

Appropriate Clothing – This should go without saying, but wear clothing to match the weather. Layers aren’t just great for protecting your gadgets, they also allow you to stay warm and shed clothing as the day heats up.

Power or Batteries – If you are lucky enough to be near an outlet, you might be able to recharge with an extension cord, but you will be better off bringing extra batteries for your iPhone, like one of these iPhone 4S battery cases.

Friend – The most important thing to bring is a friend. Even if he isn’t going to buy a new iPad, you’ll want someone with you in line to hold your spot if you need to use the restroom. If you can’t bring a friend, bring some snacks to help make friends in line.

Food – Bring some snacks and at least a bottle of water. This is optional if you are only going to be in line for an hour or two, but if you plan to wait for anything longer, you’ll want to have some refreshments on hand.

You can see line for the iPad 2 in the video below, one  won’t be in this year because I was able to preorder the new iPad.

Are you going to line up for the new iPad on March 16th?




  1. Gremlins10

    03/14/2012 at 4:54 am

    Well I thought I was going to line up for it but now it seems my employer implemented a “No take off day to buy Ipads”.

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